How to Grow and Get the Best from your Scheffleras

Schefflera make attractive and beautiful houseplants
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In this article, we will discuss how to grow and get the best from your Scheffleras, a popular houseplant. Schefflera make a wonderful leafy houseplant and a great addition to any home.

Schefflera make attractive and beautiful houseplants
Schefflera make attractive and beautiful houseplants

Schefflera is a genus of flowering plants that belong to the family Araliaceae, where up to 900 species are known to exist. Most are trees and shrubs that grow up to 20m in height with beautiful palmate, long, shiny, oval leaves that droop from a central stem, thus resembling an umbrella.

Scheffleras are not frost hardy and in cooler climates, they are grown indoors for most of the year but can be left outdoor for the warmer months. Although as said earlier in this article, they are grown for their flowers they will not do so in the comfort of your home. The red, white, or pink tentacle-like flowers can be observed in warmer climates but never inside the home.

Schefflera plants are quick growing outdoor but thankfully indoors they are slow-growing, especially if it is kept in smaller pots.

Now you know a little about Scheffleras, we will discover how the best way to care for them.

 BEST WAY TO CARE FOR SCHEFFLERAS

The good news is that Scheffleras are not difficult to grow provided you give them the right growing conditions. They may get leggy but they can be improved by pruning to encourage a fuller plant.

GROWING MEDIA

Scheffleras like the soil to be rich and moisture-retentive but also free-draining. It is best to use a houseplant compost to which 25% perlite or horticultural grit has been added to it. It must be moist but never overly wet or too dry.

 LIGHT

Scheffleras prefer the light to be bright, but away from direct sunlight. In the summer, it is recommended that you take the plant outside and place it in an area that is bright but sheltered such as under a canopy, if it gets too leggy then it may not be receiving enough light. Direct sunlight can cause the leaves to get scorched.

 WATER
Schefflera actinophylla
Schefflera actinophylla

During the growing season between March and September water well and mist the leaves regularly. It is best to wait when 5cm below the top surface of the compost feel dry to the touch when you stick your finger in. Only give enough water until it appears in the drainage holes.  Overwatering will turn the leaves yellow and for them to drop. It can eventually lead to root rot and the death of the plant.

 TEMPERATURE

Schefflera like the temperature to be between 15 and 27 degree Celsius and it will suffer if it drops below this. The plant hates draughts and dry heat. A plant that once too cold starts losing leaves quickly, so if you see this you know that the plant is either too cold or too wet.

 HUMIDITY

The plant loves high humidity, the higher the better. Humidity can be increased by using a humidifier or by placing the containers it comes in on a tray of expanded clay balls that are constantly moist.

 FERTILIZER

Feed Scheffleras at least once a week during the growing season with a balanced, liquid fertilizer. They are heavy feeder and need the extra nutrients.

 PESTS

Scheffleras are prone to attacks of aphids that lead to honeydew being formed on the leaves and for sooty mould to grow. If you treat the aphids with a suitable insecticide it will deal with both the pests and the sooty mould.

PRUNING

It is mentioned before that if your Schefflera gets too lanky or too leggy. It may need to be cut off, Schefflera plants are seen to recover quickly when pruned to size, and will reward you with a fuller and healthier plant.

 VARIETIES TO GROW

Although you are more limited to what varieties you can grow. The following can be successfully grown in the home:

 SCHEFFLERA ACTINOPHYLLA (Umbrella Plant)
Schefflera arboricola
Schefflera arboricola

This is a tall-growing evergreen tree with glossy green, oblong leaflets that radiates from the top of long stems, resembling an umbrella. Young plants have only about 3 leaflets to each stalk. You can delay potting on but this will eventually slow down its progress.

 SCHEFFLERA ARBORICOLA

This is similar to S. actinophyllla but the leaves are smaller and it has a bushier habit. It grows to slightly smaller proportions, up to 1.8m rather than 2.4m. Another difference is that the number of leaflets on each stem increases much more quickly and the young plants are more decorative.

SCHEFFLERA DIGITATA
Schefflera digitata
Schefflera digitata

This is yet another species of Schefflera that looks similar to the others, but the leaflets are less serrated and less pointed. Its height varies depending on the pot size the plant is grown in, but it can grow up to be a tree. Can be allowed to grow up to a great proportion if grown in a tub.

 CONCLUSIONS

In this article, we have discovered the best way to grow and look after Scheffleras, a beautiful foliage houseplant. As you can see they are not difficult to look after as long as you get the temperature, watering, feeding and lighting right, You can prune them if they get too tall for your living space but if you keep them slightly root bound then you can keep the growth in check.

Your choices are less than other houseplants but it is still a beautiful plant.

If you have any question or comments that you have on Scheffleras then please do so in the comment box below.

Happy Scheffleras growing.


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